This week, we've been catching up with our School Reps on what they've been up to and to find out some exciting department updates! First up, we hear from School of Law and Social Sciences (LSS) Rep, Oliver Case.
Hey everyone in LSS, it’s Oliver here. There’s some really cool stuff happening in our school that I’m thrilled to share with you.
So, big news on assessments – we’re working on mixing things up! With Assessment Futures, we are looking at, in some cases, moving away from the usual exam-heavy approach to something more relevant to the real world. It’s all about making more of our assessments more practical, useful and making sure they include questions that have real-world relevance. It should make a huge difference in how we learn and apply our skills.
And for those of you thinking about your future careers? You can now pick employability modules from any department within LSS. It's a fantastic opportunity to tailor your learning to what really excites you.
It’s not all about study, though. We’re ramping up on social events and getting departments to work together more. It's about creating a lively, inclusive community where we all feel a part of something.
If you ever want to chat, throw ideas, or if something is bugging you, just let me know. My email is email@example.com, and I’m also on Instagram @olivercase.
Thinking of getting involved? Have a word with your course reps. They’re a great resource for understanding what’s involved and how to make a difference. It's an awesome way to develop some real-world skills and make your mark.
And, with the National Student Survey open now to final-year students, your feedback is super important. It's about shaping our LSS for the better. We, as a school, would love to hear what you think.
The School Office team has designed a “Help and Support for Students” poster to help guide students with common key questions regarding personal tutors, attendance, extensions, extenuating circumstances, CeDAS, wellbeing, etc. Smaller leaflets are now displayed across LSS spaces (i.e. in LAC, PIRP, Econ) to increase the visibility of the support and help that is available to students.
The School Office team also responded to student feedback regarding the selection process of optional modules – they have now extended the deadline to change optional modules from 6.30pm on a Friday to 9am on the following Monday to give students who only have their first classes towards the end of the week more time to decide whether they are happy with their selection of optional modules.
PIRP colleagues have led the way in developing support groups for LSS students, which were launched in 2022/23 and were so successful that they were rolled out at School level in 2023/24.
The Womxn of Colour Student Support Group seeks to connect students who identify as Womxn of Colour within the School of Law and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway. The group has three main objectives: to provide a supportive community and safe space for WoCs to gather, to build a professional network, and to enable academic and career advancement. To this end, members organise networking events, speaker series, and programming in collaboration with other groups on campus. They assist each other with preparing for exams, workshopping CVs, and coordinating professional photos. The group also meets regularly in a supportive capacity so that members can share their ongoing trials and triumphs. The group is open to any current LSS students who identify as womxn of colour. Student leads are voted on every academic year. This academic year, Ella Hearn-Zhang and Meera Natarajan share leadership of the group. The staff lead associated with this group is Dr. Gauri Wagle, Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy.
The Black, African, and Caribbean Student Support Group is dedicated to enhancing the experience of students in the School of Law and Social Sciences from African and Caribbean backgrounds. Its mission is to foster cultural celebration and community building; provide academic support, mentorship, and professional development; nurture wellbeing; provide a safe space for conversations on important issues that students might face; and run engaging events and guest speakers. The staff lead associated with this group is Dr. Michael Bankole, Lecturer in Politics at the Department of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy.
The First Generation Student Support Group provides guidance, mentoring and community for students in the School of Law and Social Sciences who are in the first generation of university students. First-generation students are those whose parents/primary carers do not have a university degree (BA/BSc or higher). The group covers topics surrounding the hidden curriculum, social norms and interactions, and the opportunities available at university that may not be openly discussed and known. Additionally, the group serves as an open forum for first-generation students to exchange and discuss their experiences studying at the School of Law and Social Sciences and to meet fellow students from similar backgrounds. The staff lead associated with this group is Dr. Janina Beiser-McGrath, Lecturer in Politics and Quantitative Methods at the Department of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy.
Finally, the Muslim Student Support Group is a dedicated community within the School of Law and Social Sciences which focuses on the experiences and challenges of Muslim students. Its main objectives are: to provide a nurturing space for Muslim students to come together, express their concerns, and support one another throughout their academic journey on academic and non-academic matters; to empower and inspire students through professional development, networking, and mentorship opportunities tailored to their specific needs; to advocate for wellbeing and holistic care, ensuring every Muslim student feels seen, heard, and valued; and to engage in enriching dialogues, promoting both individual and collective growth, and celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures and traditions within Muslim communities. The staff lead associated with this group is Dr. Mohammadreza Kalantari, Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East at the Department of Politics, International Relations & Philosophy.
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